While much of the Cthulhu mythos is based upon irrationality, the obtuse, and the strange, H.P. Lovecraft’s tales contain various messages, some of which are especially applicable to modern society.
One especially predominant example of this is featured when Lovecraft explains, “The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age” (Lovecraft 139).
The fascinating paradigm that Lovecraft explores in this section is a focal point predominant even in our culture today – that is to what extent ought science (no matter what kind) proceed before it goes “too far?” From genetically modified foods to cloning, this contentious topic arises in nearly every issue about bioethics. Some of the less progressively minded arguers of similar topics have similar perspectives to Lovecraft, that there is in fact a limit to where scientific progression ought go, and that surpassing it would lead to major social harms. While, granted, we as a society are not necessarily proselytizing for cultists in eldritch rituals, certainly in the minds of these more conservative members, the recent advent of technological booms have similar effects. To many, especially the elderly, the idea of a large winged tentacle creature is comparable to the “magic black box that accesses the Internet,” something modern generations see as both innocuous and essential parts of our lives. The only way to diffuse this culture of fear however is to force society forward, by driving our boat through the Cthulhus of modernity, grasping us in their flabby claws.
Lovecraft, H. P., and S. T. Joshi. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories. New York: Penguin, 1999. Print.